Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Jewish Penicillin.

 "I've been helping again!!"

 Imagination at work.

 One very happy engineer.

 My dear friend Bea and I aboard her narrow boat.  The two hubbies are out of the picture, one is acting photographer!  A chance to catch up and celebrate my birthday which is tomorrow... I won't say how many times round the sun!!

Thanks to my dear Mum for undergoing the surgeon's knife to bring me forth into the world and to my Dad for his heartfelt prayers in those uncertain days after delivery.

Monday, 30 May 2011

The week that disappeared!

No daily pictures to post or wafflings from me, some of us have been hassled by a wearying cold virus so it has been damage limitation at this end!  I cannot really grumble as it has been some while since we succumbed to a viral infection. Here's hoping that things settle over the next few days.

Blessings San x 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Week In Pictures

For a change I'm posting just pictures this week, a photographic reminder that what we do is "Real Learning in The Heart of The Home", Elizabeth Foss.  Our Monday looked like this:

 Magnetic spellings.

Tumbling jesters.
Rainy day photography.

 Magic cauldron maths.

 Origami paper craft.

 Online shopping and budgeting.


 Baby wearing sisters.

Today we did:

 Flower power.

 Independent problem solving.

 Photography and commentary courtesy of big sis!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Knitting Therapy

We've had a peculiar week with combined health issues so the clickety clack of the needles has provided a meditative effect!  I have to admit that earlier on in the making of this garment I was frazzled with the sizing and in the end although I began knitting a size four the end result was actually a size six!  Yet it fits Pip beautifully who happens to be an average two year old!!  I have issues with the maths relating to this garment... it frankly does not add up!!  Despite the errors it is a beautiful design, I am totally smitten with top down knitting and am currently knitting another vest as I write! 

Hand dyed yummy goodness... take one ball of Ethical Twist organic wool in cream and dye with yellow and pink food colouring.  It reminds me of one of my favourite ice creams, "Raspberry Ripple"
 Knitting and Napping!
 A cranky girly refusing to comply with an action shot, so...
 ...here is the vest all buttoned and blocked.  Pattern can be found on the Ravelry site under the name "Boheme".

Here are some other pictures of the past week:
 Our birthday surprise for Nanna a daisy fridge magnet using old CD's, a photograph, some sugar paper and printed cut out lettering.  Sara made the multicoloured rose bouquet with a little help from Benedict.  Our big at home girl is currently a serious origami dude!

We had our trip down a local high street as part of our history project and very little had changed over the course of time.  The shop owners were very accommodating and here are some of our favourites:

  We were here!

 One side a butchers and the other...

 ... bakers, but alas no candlestick maker!

 A genuine tailor at work.

An eco friendly and fair trade shop in keeping with the towns claim of one of the first fair trade towns in the world!

Frames made from old bike chains and the bracelets were made from can ring pulls!

 Recycled glass from the West Country.

 An ornament made from recycled coke cans.

A vase made from rolled and coiled paper from magazines. 

All things considered a good enough week!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Grand Designs...

...A to B Different degrees...
Actually this is the first line of lyrics of a song of that name by a rather good musical trio from Canada; but in this case the blog posting is about Benedict's art project running with our dear Czech art teacher friend.  In this case he has been putting together an architectural model of his ideal house.

The civil and structural engineering was carried out in an earlier visit and now second fix joinery and painting have been carried out.

Kamila is a creative character and her art room is bursting with opportunities, in this case architectural adventures beckon...

An interesting lift shaft being installed provides novel access.  The weight of one person going down lifts up someone else.  Perhaps you have to eat lots of food upstairs and exercise the weight off  downstairs to provide a reliable mass difference! 

Detail of the lower door into the lift.

And as we pass through this desirable residence, we pass the kitchen in a tasteful saffron yellow, a frying pan of fish on the hob, and the bathroom in a refreshing aqua blue.

Whoops, we're sorry Kamila, we didn't know that you were having a bath!

No house is a home without some friendly multi-coloured pet snails.

 The garden area is perfect for relaxing in the sun.

 And afterwards, there is a nice outdoor pool with winding slide to splash in from.

And here are Kamila and Benedict giving their own tour of their project!

By the way, about that Canadian trio, you can hear them here

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Magnetic Mischief

Today we had a look at magnets.  

We first made two lists of items attracted to the magnet and not attracted to the magnet. Along with the expected, such as a steel bar is and a pencil isn't, Benedict hit on the surprise that a pair of scissors did and didn't; they had a plastic handle and steel ends!  After trying two bar magnets together, we then considered the principal that like poles attract and opposites repel.

Dad's machining of cast iron on the lathe has produced a useful waste product, as the carefully collected iron chips proved to be quite acceptable as iron filings (chips from lathe work are actually larger than true products of filing).

We tried a bar magnet under a piece of paper with iron 
filings and saw patterns of the magnetic force fields

We then tested the effect of various magnets under the paper, a book and the table, to see the various effects.

Under that table, the bar magnet and the 
stronger horseshoe magnet had no effect at all

So we tried the heavy duty magnetic base from Dad's workshop

And from under the table, this had a definite effect!

Then we tried the effects of thick and thin glass

After that, we moved onto referred magnetism, using paper clips as the extending media

 the bar magnet lifts a chain of 3 paperclips...

the horseshoe magnet lifts a chain of 4 paperclips...
 ...but oddly, the magnetic base does no better, with only 4 paperclips.
Considering the range of magnets, we slid each magnet over a centimetric graph paper until it was able to attract paper clips which had were on the baseline.

The range of the bar magnet was 2cm

But the range of the horseshoe magnet was only just over 1cm

 The range of the magnetic base was the greatest at 5cm

Finally, we made a compass.  We magnetised a darning needle by stroking the strongest magnet along it.  The needle was then suspended from a piece of wool in a glass.
The needle had a tendency to align itself along a North-South axis.  When the glass was rotated, the needle tried to orientate itself again, however, the resistance presented by the suspension thread meant that a N-S orientation could not be obtained when the glass was rotated far.

The logical correction of this fault would be to have the needle on a cork, floating in a dish of water, but time ran out.

A productive work outcome!

After lunch it was Mum's turn to pitch in and Benedict worked on a cryptogram quiz for his spellings:

This was then followed by two pages of quick drill mathematics followed by another book from his reading pile:

Whilst Benedict and Pip were engaged in another craft activity, I took the chance to sneak into the garden and photograph my most favourite spot:

All credit to Sara for all her hard work in painting and thoroughly cleaning the greenhouse from top to bottom!

View from the greenhouse door.

Blooming flowers waiting to be planted!

A better view of my favourite spot!

Our twinkly, twirly bird scarers/sun catchers dancing in the breeze.

Whilst I was hanging the last of these colourful discs I was greeted with the presence of an unusual visitor in the garden:

My very own Indian brave and little sister squaw could be found here:

She's even sitting crossed legged too!!

As I type we are just about to embark on a craft activity present for one very special Nanna, who has a birthday on Thursday.